A volume of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry rests on my ironing board next to a few wrinkled sewing projects. I’m more likely to read than sew. Heck, I’m more likely to read than iron. But this peaceful still life exudes domestic leisure. My life is filled with such scenes. With no outside commitments, I am blessed with time at home.
My husband and I have sacrificed much for such a life. We manage with one car, my husband attends night school to advance his career, works long hours, often travels for work and we adhere to a strict budget to make ends meet, every penny counts.
But such domestic settings remind me of the leisure I have been given, unstructured time for me and my children to enjoy. Time that I must manage wisely. They are simple scenes: I look to my nightstand and see my rosary draping my journal and copy of Jane Keyon’s Constance with glass beads and atop my husband’s dresser rest his keys and monogrammed tie clip (I had engraved for his birthday) next to the unpaid bills. These details are home and all its pleasures and hardships. They encompass a much greater movement – they are microcosms and they relate the full truth of the macrocosm.
Such microcosms are seen in nature. When you look at a maple leaf, you see the tree in all its splendor. The tree’s glory is stamped on it right down to its tiny veins and stem.
In Literature, such details make a novel or poem. When you read a line of good poetry or a sentence in a great novel the details carry it, give life to the whole work. And I find such peace in these domesticities because they reveal a greater movement: my husband’s love for our family, my love for our children – God’s love for us.